UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Launched in 1994, the Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List reflects the world’s cultural and natural diversity. World Heritage Sites are chosen based on their outstanding universal value.

It is BucketTripper’s goal to have our writers collectively visit all 1007 World Heritage Sites (or as many as are safe for travelers) — and to give you a close, personal account of what it’s like to experience these exceptional destinations. To see how we’re doing, check out the stories, below.

Click on a red flag to find a UNESCO destination | See all destinations | Biospshere Reserves | World Heritage Sites


UNESCO Sites: The Bucket List

 


Mayan Pyramid Rising into View
(courtesy of Emma Gallagher)

Entering Tikal, Jungle Heart of the Maya Empire

From atop Temple IV, above the trees of the jungle, the noisy morning sounds of animals went on for ages. “Little” Cesar, our tour guide, had instructed us all just to listen. “Don’t talk,” he said, holding his hand next to his head as if Einstein presenting a novel idea ...
Read More
Long brown building with many pointed spires and a giant clock tower at the right hand end, on the far side of a broad river

Pondering Power at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, A UNESCO World Heritage Site in London, England

When in London, listen to the stones. The Tower of London says, "Power comes from the King and his army." Westminster Abbey says, "Power comes from God." You would expect the Houses of Parliament to say, "Power comes from the people", but that's not what I discovered when I went on ...
Read More
Stone wall with a carved row of flowers and leaves, at each end there is a strange best. One looks like a bat and the other is more like a snarling lion.

Searching for Souls at Westminster Abbey, A UNESCO World Heritage Site in London, England

Why visit Westminster Abbey? Occasionally I go to indulge my private delusions of grandeur. Before I can be crowned Queen of England, approximately a billion people will have to die. Then, when I'm first in line, I'll follow tradition and have my own Coronation. In the meantime, I can secretly ...
Read More
A Crowd Gathering on the River

On the River at Finca Tatin in Guatemala

We’d left Guatemala City some eight hours prior on a “first class” bus, which entails the extra feature of receiving a bottle of water midway through the ride and action movies dubbed in Spanish. It had been a long trip, with a late taxi, a missed (regular-class) bus, and a ...
Read More
A prisoner's cell, Robben Island, Cape Town (Ann Burnett 2013)

Following the Footsteps of Prisoners, Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa

The ferry to Robben Island from Cape Town takes only 30 minutes but at the end of it we were in a different world. A harsh landscape, bleak and  devoid of trees, greeted us at the quay where a tour bus took us to the prison in the center of ...
Read More
Florence Duomo with Giotto's Tower and Brunelleschi's Dome (Photo copyright by Stillman Rogers Photography)

Shopping while Sightseeing near the Duomo in Florence

Somewhere between Brunelleschi’s dome and the Ghirlandaio frescoes, my best-laid plans for a day devoted to the great treasures of Florentine art went awry. So awry that long before I reached Santa Maria Novella I considered detouring to my hotel to unload the increasingly heavy leather shoulder bag I’d bought ...
Read More
Starting the hike up Mt. Teide. (©Melanie Radzicki McManus)

Climbing Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands

For the umpteenth time, my young guide stops to text. It's starting to tick me off. I want to learn as much as I can about the hardscrabble volcanic mountain we're climbing, not watch his orange hoodie-clad head bent over his flying fingers. As if sensing my irritation, he suddenly ...
Read More
The estancia of Jesús María stands out for its wrought iron fence and gratings (©Coen Wubbels)

Exploring the Jesuit Estancias in Córdoba, Argentina

When in the 16th century the Jesuits came to Argentina, they founded schools and universities in Córdoba, an area today referred to as the Jesuit Block. In order to finance these institutions estancias were set up in the surrounding areas, where agriculture and cattle breeding prospered. The Jesuits rapidly progressed to ...
Read More